Friday, July 4, 2008

TEXAS SAGE



Nothing is more beautiful in the Texas landscape than the response of the Texas sage to a rainfall. Within days it bursts into profusion of small purple flowers. Texas sage or Leucophyllum is not a sage but a member of the Scrophulariaceae family which include the penstemons, snapdragons and foxgloves. This particular plant seeded here in the decomposed granite. An area which was intended for parking but will never be used as such. I planned to remove the plant but never got round to it. 
There are several varieties of the plant. "Green cloud" has a much greener leaf than the regular silver leaf. "Thundercloud" is known for its abundant blossoms.

Caught in a different light this bush has never flowered before. It is growing in very poor rocky soil. I believe that the intense heat and lack of rain this year followed by and inch of rain last week is responsible for the bloom.
I have been noticing over the years that there are some plants that demand specific conditions to perform at their best. Several years ago I purchased a bergamot plant. Every year it grew leaves but never flowered- until last year. It became a great stand topped with huge raspberry blooms. It must have been the cooler summer with abundant rain. We may never have those conditions again which probably mirrored the more favorable conditions of temperate climates where the plant grows best
One year I grew foxgloves. I had beautiful blooms into the summer. Since then I have grown nothing but leaves. 

The bean tepee has been stripped of every leaf and many of the stalks. Today I removed the remaining bush bean plants and put them outside for the deer. They were over in a shot.


4 comments:

  1. Yes, certain plants are pretty demanding about the conditions under which they will flower. But the Texas sage seems worth the wait, given how it is performing under some pretty harsh conditions.

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  2. Guess the deer will recycle the bean leaves into a different kind of compost!

    At our last house a seedling from a Texas sage sprouted where grass met border so I potted it to save it from the mower and brought it here when we moved - it's about 5-feet tall and blooming now. Our Texas Sages may be common, Jenny, but when we've watched them grow since infancy they seem special, don't they?

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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  3. Carol- Why am I trying to grow foxgloves? Because I'm English of course and long for that little bit of the English countryside. I'll just keep on trying.

    They certainly are Annie. I am always thrilled to see something grow from a seed that I didn't plant. Texas sage doesn't do it very often but I have about 4 that have seeded. They are very special and now that they are flowering I am thrilled.
    Last year the conditions must have been perfect for some damianita seeds to sprout. They are in the gravel at the front and there they will stay because they have put down very deep roots and cannot be moved without risk. Let 'em all stay I say.

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  4. You're much more tolerant of self seeders than I am, but I do like the setting that the cenizo chose. It looks great standing alone in the gravel, blissfully free of the tight ball pruning that some folks like to give them.

    My blog and email are down right now, thanks to a malicious hacker. Hope to be up and running again soon.

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